American farmers deride drought inaction

Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. farmers affected by a summer drought say they are getting no relief from their political representatives.

Farmers are complaining loudly that an eagerly awaited comprehensive agriculture bill, meant to offset the costs of destroyed crops, underweight livestock and climbing feed prices, has been stalled in Congress, and that representatives could not offer even limited emergency relief before leaving Washington for a five-week recess, The New York Times reported Monday.

Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Neb., said of his newly drawn district, "Every time I get out there, people keep asking me, 'What happened to the farm bill? Why don't we have a farm bill?'"

While a temporary farm bill was recently enacted and will expire next month, disaster relief that could have helped livestock producers lapsed last week, and farmers are finding it difficult to plan for a recovery in the next growing season, the newspaper noted.

Newspaper editorial boards have blamed Democrats or Republicans, but many have denounced the entire process, such as the (Wichita Falls, Texas) Times Record News, which said last week of the congressional recess, "Emergency aid for farmers and ranchers was left on the table. Each side of the aisle blames the other, but the finger-pointing gives little relief to our own Texas ranchers and farmers."

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